|Senator Prince Y. Johnson|
Sen. Johnson’s comments followed calls by the National Human Rights Commission (INHCR) for the submission of a list of those who it said committed the most heinous crimes during the country’s civil wars to the International Criminal Court.
Though, Sen. Johnson further described the pronouncement by the INHRC as beyond the constitutional functions of the commission, noting that the commission did not have the power to make such recommendation to the international community, he expressed the belief that it would be a generational hatred among Liberians if those who played active roles in or aided and abetted the civil unrests here were not prosecuted under the law.
He said it would be rewarding to Liberia if such prosecution could bring to justice all those who one way or the other participated in the country’s protracted wars. According to him, such participants include facilitators, lobbyists for finances, as well as individuals who produced the blue print for the execution of the intermittent wars.
Sen. Johnson also noted that individuals, including him and former President Charles G. Taylor did not have the resources to declared war on a certain government (Samuel Doe Administration), but the efforts and influences of prominent Liberians with international connections. He noted that history will be inaccurate if the planners of the wars, including the National Patriotic Front or NPFL were not prosecuted under the law.
He indicated that Liberia’s loss of more than 250,000 lives and millions of dollars worth of properties would not have been possible in the absence of the moral and financial support and international influences of a few well-placed Liberians.
The former INPFL leader has, however, indicated that he will only submit himself to a court that is legally domesticated under the Liberian laws, through legislation.
It could be recalled that former president Taylor during his formal address before judges of the UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone said he had stood before the Liberian people and apologized and expressed deep regret and contrition for the loss of lives and limbs, and the overall effects of the civil war.
“I stated that no words no matter how polished and sincere could heal the scars and pains all suffered. I was not alone as a leader of a faction that fought during the civil war when I took it upon myself to express those sentiments while aspiring for the presidency; but I did.”, he added.
There were many like me who owed an expression of sympathy and regret for what happened to the Liberian people. Indeed, none other than the current president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, was identified in the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report as somebody from whom such an expression of regret and sympathy for what happened in Liberia should have been forthcoming; since she was one of the three principal leaders of the NPFL along with me.